Spicy Bites placegetters

Congratulations to our inaugural Spicy Bites prizewinners:

Equal First prize: Kristine Charles and Kerrie Starbuck

Second prize: Wren St Claire

Third prize: Josephine Brierley

In addition, the following authors will be invited to participate in the 2017 Spicy Bites – Tattoos anthology:

Amy Rose Bennett
Dina Bridges
Audrey Fraser
Caitlyn Lynch
Annabelle McInnes
Wren St Claire (second entry)
Nardia Sheriff
Lee-Ann Wallace

Congratulations to all our entrants – the cut-off score for the anthology is difficult to achieve and all the stories were read with pleasure by our volunteer judges. Thanks as usual to all our judges, and the contest manager Trysh Nickles.

Little Gems contest placegetters

Congratulations to our Little Gems prizewinners:

Equal First prize: Courtney Clark Michaels and Imelda Evans

Second prize: Shannon McEwan

Equal Third prize: J. Keneally and Rose Pearse.

In addition, the following authors have been invited to participate in the 2017 Little Gems Onyx anthology:

Heidi Catherine
Kat Colmer
Frances Dall’Alba
Fiona Greene
Jillian Jones
Caitlyn Lynch
Fiona Marsden
Jane Newton
Stella Quinn.

Congratulations to all our entrants – the score required to reach the anthology list was high and as you can see, it was very difficult to separate the stories! Thanks as usual to all our volunteer judges, and the contest manager Lis Hoorweg.

Emerald and Emerald Pro second round

Congratulations to our Emerald and Emerald Pro second round entrants!

Emerald

Rose Celeste
Karina Coldrick
Frances dall’Alba
Wendy Lee Davies
Leanne Francis
Lexi Greene
Georgia Henry
Jillian Jones
Janis Linford
Stella Quinn
Jennifer Raines
Joanne Robertson
Deborah Shattuck
Laura Simpson

Emerald Pro

P.A. Crake
Louise Cusack
Diane Demetre
Darry Fraser
JC Harroway

These second round entrants are submitting their full manuscripts to be judged by our reader judges.

Well done to all who entered – as usual, competition for second round places was tough and the 85% score required to proceed was not easily achieved.

A special mention to the following entrants, who made the cut for the second round but were unable to proceed:
Tanya Kean
Pamela Hancock
Lauren James
Sonia Stanizzo
Sarma Burdeau (Emerald Pro)

All entrants will receive their first round scoresheets shortly. Thanks to our volunteer judges and to the contest manager, Marnie St Clair.

Selling Synopsis results

Congratulations to our Selling Synopsis placegetters! As judged by Joanne Grant and Megan Broderick, editors at Harlequin:

1st        Tanya Kean
2nd      Tanya Kean
3rd       Bree Verity
4th       Kay Lobegeiger
5th       Denise Ogilvie
6th       Stella Quinn

Thanks to Joanne and Megan for donating their time and expertise to our contest, and for offering their constructive feedback to our finalists. As always, thanks also to all our volunteer judges; our judge coordinator, Margaret Midwood; and our hardworking contest manager, Pauline Johnston.

Ripping Start results

Congratulations to our Ripping Start placegetters! As judged by Lucy Bell, Editor, Pantera Press:

1st: Miranda Morgan
2nd: Tamar Sloan
3rd: Tania Holland
4th: Bree Verity
5th: Bernice Greenham
6th: Elizabeth Squire

Thanks to Lucy Bell for providing such generous feedback for our finalists, and for inviting them to submit to Pantera Press. Thanks to Cat Whelan for her time and effort in running an efficient and timely contest. And well done to all who entered!

Ruby update

As you may have seen in the December issue of Hearts Talk, some exciting developments are happening for the 2017 Ruby, our contest for books published in 2016.

New sections! This year, we’ll be reducing the number of sections to four. Entry numbers in the Short Sexy and Short Sweet sections have reduced enough for these to be combined, to make four roughly even sections.

The 2017 sections will be: Long Romance, Short Romance, Romance Novella and Romantic Elements.

If you’re unsure where your book should go, check the Ruby rules/conditions on the website for descriptions. If your book fits more than one section, it’s your choice where it goes.

New judging! For the first time, we’ll be presenting an overall Romantic Book of the Year award, judged by a panel of industry experts. Here’s how it’ll work:

  • First round judging will run as usual
  • Finalists and winners for each section will be decided and announced in the usual way
  • All finalists will be read by our industry panel, who will select one overall winner (in addition to the section winners).

Who are the industry judges? For 2017, our panel will comprise:

  • Kat Mayo, writer, reviewer and host of the romance podcast Heart to Heart
  • Danielle Binks, writer, reviewer and chair of LoveOzYA
  • Hayley Shephard, Marketing Assistant and Promotions Coordinator at Booktopia

Many thanks to these three outstanding romance advocates for their involvement.

New finalists! Our final judges are hardworking professionals who are donating their time and effort to RWA. They will read all the finalist books in their own time. In order to keep their workload manageable, and ensure the judging is fair and timely, we’re reducing the number of finalists per section to three.

More new judging! We’ll also be introducing writer judges to the Ruby.

Our reader judges do a wonderful job and keep the contest market-relevant, but we believe RWA members have a lot to offer as judges too—and we’re keen to keep judge demographics as diverse and inclusive as we can, to ensure all subgenres and styles are catered for.

To this end, every entrant will be judging one or two books, taken from a section they haven’t entered. Information about the judging procedure will be provided when you enter. It’s easy and fun, and you’ll be given plenty of time—you might discover a new favourite!

New entry formats! Digital entries make the contest process faster, more cost-effective and easier for judges, which results in better judging for us. So if your book has a DRM-free digital edition (.pdf, .epub or .mobi), you’ll be entering that.

Print entries will be accepted only from those authors who don’t have access to a usable digital edition.

Usable means you need to be able to upload your ebook to our entry system, and we need to be able to email your ebook to judges. For instance, if your ebook edition has DRM—and hence can’t be shared—you’ll need to enter print.

Also, if your only ebook edition is unsatisfactory for some reason—for instance, it’s an advance copy that’s significantly different from the published book, or it has a watermark that makes it hard for judges to read—you can still enter print. That’s okay. We won’t insist on digital if there are real problems. We’re just trying to keep as many entries digital as we can.

As for last year, you’ll be entering online. There’s a limit of 3 entries per person (that’s per human being, not per pseudonym) and your entries can go in any section/s you like.

New dates! In order to accommodate the extra judging round, we’re opening and closing for entries earlier than before. Remember—if you’re entering print copies (see above) your books must be postmarked by the closing date.

Opening: 16 December 2016

Closing: 16 January 2017

Full rules/conditions will be available soon on the RWA website—please read them carefully—but as always, contact the contest managers with any queries regarding the contest rules or entry process. If you have special difficulties, we can make arrangements —don’t be afraid to ask!

Ripping Start finalists

Congratulations to our 2017 Ripping Start finalists:

Bernice Greenham
Tania Holland
Miranda Morgan
Tamar Sloan
Elizabeth Squire
Bree Verity

Finalist entries will be evaluated by our final judge: Lucy Bell, Editor, Pantera Press. A wonderful opportunity!

Well done to all who entered—with 79 entries, the competition was tough, and we hope you find your judging feedback valuable.

Thanks as always to all our hardworking volunteer judges, and a special shout-out to our new contest manager, Cat Whelan, who’s done a fantastic job with a big contest. Entrants will start receiving their scoresheets soon.

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